Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Survivor: Thulani Sibisi

#SowetoMarathon: Why this prostate cancer survivor is running today

A marathon runner with prostate cancer uses his skill to promote awareness and encourage testing.
Tholakele Memela sought help when she realised the symptoms for HIV and a sangoma’s calling were similar.

Sangomas learn to meld muti with conventional medicine

Traditional and Western healers team up to treat patients with HIV and tuberculosis because many people consult more than one health system.
The youngsters have successfully completed their initiation and are now regarded as men. The campsite where the initiates stayed is burnt after the initiation is completed.

[From our archives] The boys who lost their manhood

During this initiation season, we look back at what happened in 2013 when bungled initiations cost boys their penises.
Rape survivors from war torn countries need healthcare and support in South Africa

DRC to SA: No escape from rape’s war

Abused women from war-torn countries who have fled to SA for safety often face more maltreatment here.
Caverson Maliko fears for the safety of his grandson Chipililo Maiden

​Bones of gold: ‘You never know when someone will kidnap you’

Dangerous myths persist about people living with albinism, but a community in Malawi has had enough.
A woman watches from her window as police look for evidence after 20-year-old Carlos Barron was shot and killed in Chicago. The city is still very racially segregated and has high rates of violence.

This slashed rates of violence by 70% in some areas. Could it work in...

In many ways, violence is like cholera, passing from person to person and treating it in similar ways is working to reduce it.
A bicycle ambulance arrives at Trinity Hospital in southern Malawi

Pedal power: Malawi’s ‘rickshaw’ bush ambulances cycle the sick to care

Already used in countries like Namibia, the ambulances could help cut child and maternal mortality rates.
Emergency: The collapse of cancer care in public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in patients having to wait for

KZN cancer patients sent home with panados as treatment waiting lists grow

State cancer patients have nowhere to turn, even if their cancer is treatable.
The Lagos state government has initiated a vaccine campaign for children in rural villages.

‘There is hope this evil illness will not befall us again’

The residents of a Nigerian village had no health services, save for traditional methods, to treat those with a fever and a rash.
This is Simon Antindi

Meet the doctors: Take a look at this country’s first crop of homegrown physicians

Finally capping its own medics, the country must now retain them and coax them into rural areas.
Social media has become a breading ground for racism and other harmful behaviour.

Black? A woman? Read why you’re more likely to be a victim of online...

Are social media algorithms designed to prey the mental health of women and people of colour?
Prophetess Odasani says she drives out the spirits afflicting women who come to her backstreet ‘church’ in Palermo.

‘Juju curse’ binds trafficked women into sex slavery

Traditional West African ‘healers’ and Sicilian psychiatrists are struggling to help free Nigerian women forced into prostitution.
A mother delivers via C-section in Mozambique. In South Africa

A changing birth: What’s behind SA’s skyrocketing c-section rates?

Almost one in four babies born at public hospitals come into the world via c-section but is it costing some women their lives?
What happens when anesthesia works as well as it should?

This is what it’s like waking up during surgery

General anaesthetic is supposed to make surgery painless. Now there’s evidence that one person in 20 may be awake when doctors think they’re under.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

The National Health Insurance: Can Zweli Mkhize pull this off?

Can the health minister fix our health system and what will it take? Here’s what Mkhize’s character, views and his past...
A freak wave that hit Durban's beaches in January is still wreaking havoc in the coastal city

‘No home, no money, no medicine – but who cares? I don’t exist’

Introduce harm-reduction and HIV programmes – especially for heroin users – before it's too late.